ZMA-2007-00004 Oakleigh Farm (Sign # 62)

PROPOSAL:  Rezone 8.82 acres from R-6 zoning district which allows residential uses and 6 units/acre to NMD - Neighborhood Model zoning district which allows residential mixed with commercial, service and industrial uses and 3 - 34 units/acre.  Proposed number of units is 109 for a density of 12.3 units/acre.


EXISTING COMPREHENSIVE PLAN LAND USE/DENSITY:  Urban Density Residential - residential 6.01-34 units/acre) and supporting uses such as religious institutions, schools, commercial, office and service uses. Neighborhood 1


LOCATION: 547 Rio Road West (Route 631) directly across the street from Woodburn Road (Route 659)



(Claudette Grant)


Ms. Grant presented a power point presentation and summarized the staff report.  (See staff report.)


·         This rezoning request is for a property that is located at 547 Rio Road West also known as Route 631.  It is directly across the street from Woodburn Road.  The purpose of the hearing is to request to rezone 8.82 acres from R-6, Residential to Neighborhood Model District to provide for 109 dwelling units and up to 28,800 square feet of commercial space.


·         The Commission held a work session for this project in June of this year.  The details of the work session are included in the staff report.


A work session with the Planning Commission was held on June 19, 2007 in order to introduce the Commission to the project, provide an opportunity for public comment and discuss the following issues:

·       The appropriateness of the applicant’s proposed commercial uses

·       The necessity of a buffer to screen the proposal from adjacent properties

·       The need to bond trees that are proposed to be retained

·       The need to investigate a pedestrian connection to Berkeley subdivision

·       The proposed form and massing along Rio Road and the way that form relates to existing structures along Rio.


Since the work session, the applicant decided to provide revisions to the code of development and increase the residential units from 101 to 109. The applicant has agreed to limit the square footage of retail space to 14,400 square feet as requested by the Planning Commission and provide the balance of non-residential space for office use, bringing the total non-residential square footage in this development to 28,000 square feet. The entrance to the site has been reconfigured as requested by the Planning Commission, so that it lines up with Woodburn Rd. During the work session, the slip ramp was discussed as an emergency entrance. The applicant has provided the slip ramp for emergency situations only and the County Engineer is satisfied with this solution. The Commission asked the applicant to discuss the addition of a screening buffer with the adjacent Heritage Hall property owner(s). The revised plan shows an amenity area adjacent to the Heritage Hall property. The applicant has not indicated or provided information regarding a discussion with Heritage Hall about this issue. The Commission also agreed that the applicant should attempt to provide a pedestrian connection to Berkeley by meeting with residents of Berkeley. The applicant has not indicated or provided information regarding a meeting with the residents of Berkeley regarding this issue.


The property is divided into 2 blocks.  The 2 buildings fronting on Rio Road will have commercial space on the first level with residential, which is Building A and B.  The residential units will be located above.  Block 2 will have a variety of residential uses in a park like open space. 



Staff does not have the necessary information regarding the parking calculations in order to determine a recommendation for the parking waiver request. Therefore, the parking waiver request cannot be recommended for approval until the parking calculations are corrected in the

Code of Development.


Staff has identified the following factors, which are favorable to this rezoning request:

  1. The proposal meets most of the principles of the Neighborhood Model.
  2. The applicant is proposing to preserve 39 of the existing mature trees.


The following lists substantive and technical issues, some of which regard the proffers that are still outstanding and unfavorable to this rezoning request:

1.       Impacts on public facilities are not appropriately offset through proffers meeting the County’s cash proffer policy or the provision of public improvements.

Staff has met with the applicant this week to discuss the staff report.  The applicant has agreed to resolve the majority of the outstanding issues.  Staff went down the list to inform the Commission of the status of each of the issues.  The first issue is still outstanding and staff is in need of guidance from the Planning Commission on.

2.       Timing of payment for affordable units needs to be better addressed.

This issue needs to be better addressed.  The applicant is in agreement to work on this language in their proffers.

3.       The provision of a buffer along the common property line with Heritage Hall needs to be addressed.

This is an issue that the Commission had asked for during the work session.  It is still an outstanding issue.  Staff will get into more detail about that later in the meeting.

4.       The pedestrian connection to Berkeley needs to be addressed.

This issue needs to be addressed.  The applicant has indicated that they have had discussions with the residents in Berkley who would be affected by this.  Those residents say that they do not wish to have a pedestrian connection to this project. 

5.       The limitation of square footage for retail vs. office use needs to be clearly stated in the Code of Development and be consistent with the plan and proffer.

This is referred to in various ways within the Code of Development, plan and proffer.  Staff is asking that the language be consistent so that it is clearly stated on what the intent of the Planning Commission was during the work session. 

6.       An easement or agreement allowing the interconnection of adjacent property needs to be provided.

The applicant has indicated a willingness to do this. 

7.       The proffers need technical revisions.

The proffers do need some technical revisions, which the applicant has agreed to work with staff on. 

8.       The Code of Development needs technical revisions.

The Code of Development does need some technical revisions.

9.       ARB comments need to be addressed.

Some of the ARB comments need to be addressed as well.

The outstanding issue regarding the cash proffer policy is really an issue that needs to be fully discussed at the Board level.  During the work session the Commission asked the applicant to discussion the addition of a continuous screening buffer with Heritage Hall.  This issue does remain unresolved as mentioned earlier.  Staff is okay with or without a buffer.  Adding a buffer on the Oakleigh property in this location would require changes to the proposed layout of the site.  The applicant is open to ideas. 

The applicant has been amenable to changes suggested by staff.  If the Commission wishes to recommend approval of this proposal to the Board, staff recommends that this recommendation be based on resolution of the nine (9) outstanding issues listed previously before the Board acts on this rezoning. 

The last issue for consideration by the Commission is a private street waiver.  Staff has reviewed this and feels that this request meets the requirements of Section of the Zoning Ordinance.  Staff recommends approval of the private streets in this rezoning request.

Ms. Joseph invited questions for staff.


Mr. Morris asked on factors unfavorable #3 is it the applicant’s responsibility or Heritage Hall to ensure that the buffer is established.


Ms. Grant said that the Commission’s request at the work session was for the applicant to talk with the folks at Heritage Hall about providing a buffer. In the case of the work session it seemed that the Commission wanted the applicant to provide some form of a buffer. 


Mr. Edgerton asked if the applicant has had a conversation with Heritage Hall.


Ms. Grant replied that she believed that they may have tried to have a discussion with the Heritage Hall folks.


Mr. Edgerton asked how the slimp ramp would be controlled so it would only be used for emergency use.  There was a lot of discussion and some concerns expressed about that at the previous work session, but did not see any follow up on it.


Ms. Grant replied that her understanding was that it would pretty much be blocked off.   At the time of the work session engineering asked for the slimp ramp to be removed.  At that point the applicant agreed to make it just for emergency access.  Engineering, VDOT and Fire & Rescue were okay with what is being proposed.


Mr. Edgerton said certainly that may be at a more extensive level of detail than is typically requested at rezoning, but it was enough of an issue that it needs to be addressed at the rezoning level at least with some form of condition.


There being no further questions for staff, Ms. Joseph opened the public hearing and invited the applicant to address the Commission.


Valerie Long, representative for the applicant, Oakleigh Albemarle, LLC.  Others present include:  George Ray, principle with Oakleigh Albemarle. LLC as well as three members of Terra Concepts who are handling the project.  Also present is David Roseen, with Van Yahres Tree Company – the arborist who will prepare the tree preservation plan. In a power point presentation she walked the Commission through the major components of the project.  She pointed out the few minor changes that have been to the plan since the work session.  Since that time they have appeared before the Architectural Review Board for an advisory review.  It incorporated their suggestions and comments into the plan.  The most significant one that the ARB requested was that they remove some of the parking in one area, which they have done, on the ends of the row of parking and supplemented it with additional landscaping.  They also have made some technical revisions to the Code or are prepared to do so that was based on their recommendations.  That was a significant issue for them.  She understood from the Design Planner that the ARB is happy with this change.  They have also made a minor change in the alignment of the entrance road into the project so that it aligns with Woodburn Road, which was not the case when they were here at the work session.  They worked with VDOT on that and her understanding was that they have vetted that change.  Those are essentially the 2 changes to the plan.  She presented a picture of the conceptual architecture for the 2 commercial buildings, which was reviewed and approved by the ARB.  She asked for favorable consideration from the Commission.


Ms. Joseph invited other public comment.  There being none, the public hearing was closed and the matter before the Commission.


Mr. Morris said that a lot of good work has been done and they are moving in the right direction.


The Planning Commission discussed the request and took the following action.


Motion:  Mr. Craddock moved, Mr. Zobrist seconded, for denial of ZMA-2007-00004, Oakleigh Farm, as recommended by staff for the reasons stated in the staff report as unfavorable conditions.




Staff noted to the Commission that the applicant had agreed to address the following items that had been identified in the staff report:


1.                   Timing of payment for affordable units.

2.                   Provision of an easement to the adjoining property.

3.                   Making the proffers and Code of Development consistent with regards to limitations on the amount of retail square footage that would be available in the development (14,400 square feet)

4.                   Correcting wording problems in the proffers.

5.                   Correcting the Code of Development as requested by staff.


The Commission agreed that the applicant had appropriately addressed the issues related to pedestrian access to Berkeley by contacting the adjoining owners. 


Regarding the recommendation for denial, Mr. Cilimberg asked if it was based on the unfavorable factors identified by staff that had not been committed to by the applicant. There were some things that the applicant said at tonight’s meeting that they would address. In addition, he asked if the Commission’s recommendation was also based on the lack of a provision of affordable units physically located in the project.


Mr. Zobrist asked that Mr. Strucko’s concern be added about the fact that there is no policy in place for protecting the rural areas as opposed to the development areas.  He does not want to overload the development areas until there is a current policy to protect the rural areas.


Mr. Strucko agreed, but questioned if that was part of the motion or the sediment of the other Commissioners.


Mr. Cannon noted that he felt the same way, but it was not part of his vote on this.


The Commission agreed with Mr. Cilimberg’s summary.


The motion for denial passed by a vote of 7:0. 


Ms. Joseph stated that ZMA-2007-0004, Oakleigh Farm will go before the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for denial on December 12, 2007.  The recommendation for denial was based on the following reasons:


  1. Impacts on public facilities are not appropriately offset through proffers meeting the County’s cash proffer policy or the provision of public improvements.
  2. The provision of a buffer along the common property line with Heritage Hall had not been provided

3.       The lack of affordable units to be physically located in the project.



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